Hello! Welcome to the latest Geeky Brummie Gaming Roundup!
This week, cross-platform releases, the passing of a legend and airports, plus all the latest releases!
Next-Gen Releases Will Be Cross-Platform
Microsoft have released the latest information about the Xbox Series X. Most of the info is technical spec info that makes my brain shut down and start thinking of otters, but I do know it has a lot of teraflops, which is an inherently funny word. That’s my hot take on those specs. I’m in charge of games coverage for a reason, clearly.
Anyway, one fact that emerged was that many Xbox releases will see a cross-gen release, due to the way Microsoft are handling releases. Due to a focus on backwards compatibility, all Series X games will work on the Xbox One as well, but scaling will allow the games to look and run better on the newer system. But Microsoft have now confirmed that you will only need to buy one version of each of their first party titles and you’ll automatically gain access to the other version.
For third-party titles, this is opt-in, although CD Projekt Red have confirmed that Cyberpunk 2077 is one game that will be opting into this. This may be due to the new release date of the game, which is much closer to the release of the new systems than intended, so it makes sense to avoid customers holding off until the next-gen version with the cross-buy scheme.
Square Enix have also confirmed that their games will see releases on both systems, although they’ve not confirmed if they’ll also be part of this cross-buy scheme. It’s also not clear if the PS5 will have a similar system or not, but hopefully we’ll find out more about this when Sony decide to release more info.
Konami Code Mastermind Passes Away
The most famous cheat code in gaming is, of course, the Konami code, famed for its appearance in Gradius, Contra and other assorted games, and spreading to games across the spectrum throughout the past few decades as a nod to this. It was created by an employee at Konami porting Gradius to the NES. Finding it too difficult, he implemented the cheat as a way to play through the game to test it properly. That man’s name was Kasuhisa Hashimoto.
Sadly, this past week has brought the news that Hashimoto has passed away. The news was broken by composer Yuji Takenouchi, who also worked at Konami alongside Hashimoto, followed by a statement from Konami themselves.
Hashimoto wasn’t a vastly well-known name within the industry, even though he created the most famous cheat code, but it’s still sad to hear of his passing. While everyone who has ever entered UUDDLRLRBA into a video game is saddened to hear of this, my thoughts go out to his family most of all.
As Takenouchi stated in his tweets, let’s hope he continues creating games in heaven.
Banned Taiwanese Game Archived at Harvard
Red Candle Games received high praise for their double header of excellent horror games, Detention and Devotion, which drew on Taiwanese culture and folklore to create a brand of horror not seen often in games.
They’re also, sadly, known for the controversy raised by the latter game, which contained imagery that was less than complimentary towards Chinese President Xi Jinping. As the developers are Taiwanese, and under the jurisdiction of the censor-happy China, this caused political ripples, and resulted in the game being removed from Steam, and the future of the developer remaining uncertain.
But the story has taken an unexpected good turn. Both Detention and the banned game Devotion are now archived at Harvard University in the US. The Harvard-Yenching Library is dedicated to East Asian culture and history, preserving works of cultural importance, and they deemed Red Candle’s work to be worthy of this.
This is great news, because if the political situation can ever be resolved, the existence of archived code will make it easier to bring the game back to wider sale, and presumably can be accessible within the library very soon.
The future of Red Candle remains uncertain, but their work is preserved, and that’s a good start towards a happy ending.
All the Airports in Microsoft Flight Simulator
Not satisfied with all the teraflops (nope, still funny), Microsoft are also planning on recreating every single airport in the world in the new Flight Simulator. Using Bing Maps (god damn it, Microsoft) the entire world has been mapped, but special attention has also been given to the airports of the world, since unsurprisingly a flight simulator will be interacting with them a lot.
It’s impressive-sounding stuff, as there are 37,000 airports on the list. They didn’t manually edit each airport, but a combination of map data and procedural generation was used to create the bulk of them, as detailed in a video from the team . However, 80 airports have been given extra special manual attention, as they’re the most iconic and most-used airports in the world, with LAX and Gatwick appearing to be among them.
One airport not confirmed to be one of those special 80 is our local airport, BHX, although that hasn’t stopped our local news outlet from getting overexcited about the airport being in a game. Bless you, local news. Never change.
Let’s kick off this week’s releases with some ports and re-releases, as always. Capcom continue their attempts to release every Mega Man game ever made onto modern systems with the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection joining the existing Legacy Collections for classic Mega Man and Mega Man X. And Two Point Hospital has now come to consoles, and conveniently enough I’ve been playing the Steam release recently, so I can vouch for it being excellent. If you fancy treating people for Hurty Leg or Premature Mummification and haven’t been able to play the game on PC, now you can pick it up for your console of choice.
Iris and the Giant is a deck-building RPG released on Steam this week and features a gorgeous minimalist art style. One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is the latest Bandai Namco anime game for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, and it’s a beat ‘em up where main man Saitama only appears at the last minute to land a killing blow. And then there’s Broken Lines, currently out on PC with other platforms on the way, a World War II tactical RPG where your actions can have meaningful consequences.
At first glance, Beautiful Desolation looks like it plans to sit next to The Outer Worlds as a Fallout spiritual successor, albeit one that draws from the original isometric RPGs in the series. However, it’s surprisingly not a hefty CRPG, but instead a point and click adventure that draws from the imagery of that era of RPGs to craft an explorable dystopian future for its setting. Might be worth checking out if you like isometric views, rock-hard point and click puzzles and South African slang. It’s available on Steam.
Game of the Week
Game of the Week this week is Bloodroots, a hyper-stylised and brutal action game where improvised weapons are key to the gameplay. You play as Mr Wolf, a betrayed man out for revenge while wearing a rad wolfskin in a cartoonish Wild West setting. The game is all about chaining combos together as you plough through waves of enemies and using the environment to your advantage. Ever wanted to beat a man with a carrot? This is the game for you! It’s out now for Steam, PS4 and Switch.
And that’s it for this week! See you again soon with more from the world of gaming!